What Is The Most Expensive Part Of A New Roof?

Have you ever wondered what the most expensive part of a new roof is? Well, in this article, we will explore this question and provide you with some valuable insights. From the initial installation to ongoing maintenance, a roof can be a significant investment for homeowners. By understanding the most expensive aspects of a new roof, you can make informed decisions and better budget for this essential home improvement project. So, let’s dive in and uncover what drives up the costs of a new roof.

Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials due to their affordability and durability. They are made from a composite material consisting of asphalt and fiberglass. The cost of asphalt shingles can vary depending on the quality and brand, but they are generally one of the more cost-effective options available. However, they may not have the same lifespan as some of the more expensive roofing materials.


Metal roofs are known for their longevity and durability. They can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. While metal roofs may have a higher upfront cost compared to other materials, they can actually save you money in the long run. Metal roofs are energy-efficient and can help reduce cooling costs. Additionally, they are resistant to mold, mildew, and rot, making them a great option for areas with heavy rainfall.

Clay or Concrete Tiles

Clay or concrete tiles are known for their aesthetic appeal and durability. They can withstand high winds, extreme temperatures, and fire, making them a popular choice in areas prone to natural disasters. However, clay or concrete tiles can be one of the most expensive roofing materials. The cost can vary depending on factors such as quality, size, and design. It’s important to consider your budget and the specific requirements of your roofing project before choosing this option.


Slate roofs are renowned for their timeless beauty and exceptional durability. They can last for over a century with proper maintenance. However, slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials available. The cost of slate can be attributed to its natural beauty, longevity, and the labor-intensive installation process. It requires skilled professionals to handle the heavy, fragile slate tiles. If budget allows, slate can provide a stunning and long-lasting roofing solution.

Wood Shake

Wood shake roofs offer a rustic and natural look to a home. They are typically made from cedar or other types of wood. Wood shakes are known for their insulation properties and can help reduce energy costs. However, they require regular maintenance and may not be as durable as other roofing materials. Wood shake roofs can be more expensive due to the need for quality wood and the laborious installation process.

Roof Size and Complexity

Roof Area

The size of your roof is one of the factors that can affect the overall cost of a new roof. The larger the roof area, the more materials and labor will be required. Roofing contractors typically calculate the roof area in “squares,” with one square equivalent to 100 square feet. Keep in mind that multiple levels or complex roof designs can increase the overall cost of materials and labor.

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Roof Pitch

The roof pitch, or slope, is another important consideration when determining the cost of a new roof. A steep roof pitch requires additional safety precautions and can make it more challenging for roofing professionals to work. This can result in increased labor costs. Additionally, specific roofing materials may have limitations on the roof pitch they can be installed on, which can affect the overall cost.

Roof Design

The design of your roof can impact the complexity and cost of the installation process. Simple roof designs with minimal obstructions or protrusions are generally easier and faster to install, resulting in lower labor costs. On the other hand, roofs with multiple dormers, chimneys, valleys, or complex shapes may require more time and expertise, leading to higher labor costs.

Labor Costs

Removal of Old Roof

Before installing a new roof, the old roof needs to be removed. The cost of removing an old roof can vary depending on factors such as the type of roofing material, the number of layers to be removed, and any additional structural work required. This step is crucial to ensure a proper installation and prevent any underlying issues from affecting the new roof.

Preparation Work

Preparation work includes tasks such as inspecting and repairing the roof deck, replacing damaged or rotten wood, and ensuring proper ventilation. The cost of preparation work can depend on the condition of the existing roof and any underlying structural issues that need to be addressed. It is essential to have a thorough inspection done before starting the installation process to avoid any unforeseen expenses.


The installation of the new roofing materials is often the most significant portion of the labor costs. It involves the measurement, cutting, and fitting of the materials, as well as the actual installation process. The complexity of the roof design, the type of roofing materials chosen, and the skill level of the roofing professionals can all influence the labor costs. It is crucial to hire experienced and qualified roofing contractors to ensure a proper and long-lasting installation.

Roofing Accessories


Underlayment is a protective layer that is installed between the roof deck and the roofing materials. It helps prevent moisture infiltration and enhances the overall durability of the roof. The cost of underlayment can vary depending on the type and quality chosen. Higher-quality underlayment may have a higher upfront cost but can provide better protection, which can potentially save you money on future repairs.


Flashing is installed around roof penetrations such as chimneys, vents, and skylights to prevent water from entering the roof system. It is typically made from metal or other durable materials. The cost of flashing can depend on the size and complexity of the roof penetrations, as well as the type of flashing material chosen. Proper installation of flashing is essential to maintain the integrity of the roof and prevent leaks.


Proper ventilation is crucial for a healthy and long-lasting roof. It helps regulate temperature and moisture levels in the attic, preventing issues such as mold growth and excessive heat buildup. The cost of ventilation can vary depending on factors such as the type of vents used and the size of the attic space. Investing in proper ventilation can ultimately save you money by prolonging the lifespan of your roof and preventing costly repairs.

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Additional Structural Work

Repairing or Replacing Roof Decking

Roof decking refers to the boards or panels that provide the structural support for the roof. If the roof decking is damaged, rotten, or insufficient, it may need to be repaired or replaced before installing a new roof. The cost of repairing or replacing roof decking can depend on the extent of the damage and the type of materials required. It is essential to address any underlying structural issues to ensure the longevity and stability of the new roof.

Addressing Structural Issues

In some cases, additional structural work may be required to address underlying issues with the roof’s support system. This can include reinforcing or replacing deteriorated rafters or trusses, adding additional support beams, or addressing issues with the overall structural integrity of the roof. The cost of addressing structural issues can vary significantly depending on the complexity and severity of the problems. It is crucial to consult with professionals to assess and address any structural concerns before proceeding with a new roof installation.

Roof Warranty

Length of Warranty

The length of the roof warranty can vary depending on the manufacturer and the type of roofing materials chosen. Warranties typically range from 15 to 50 years or more. Longer warranties may be an indication of higher-quality materials, but it is essential to review the warranty terms and conditions carefully. Some warranties may only cover defects in materials, while others may include coverage for installation errors or premature aging.

Type of Coverage

Roof warranties can have different types of coverage, such as material-only warranties or full-system warranties. Material-only warranties usually cover defects in the roofing materials themselves. Full-system warranties, on the other hand, provide coverage for both materials and labor in case of any issues with the roof. It is important to understand the specific coverage offered by the warranty and any limitations or exclusions that may apply.


Market Prices

The location of your property can impact the overall cost of a new roof. Market prices for roofing materials and labor can vary depending on the region or city where you reside. Some areas may have higher demand or limited availability of certain roofing materials, which can drive up the prices. It is advisable to research the local market prices and gather multiple quotes from different roofing companies to get a better understanding of the average costs in your area.

Local Labor Costs

Labor costs can also vary depending on the local market conditions. Factors such as the cost of living, competition among roofing contractors, and the availability of skilled labor can influence the labor rates. It is essential to consider the local labor costs when budgeting for a new roof. However, it is equally important to prioritize the quality and reputation of the roofing company rather than solely considering the lowest labor costs.

Roofing Company

Company Reputation

The reputation of the roofing company you choose can have a significant impact on the overall cost and quality of your new roof. It is important to select a reputable and experienced roofing company with a track record of providing excellent service. Research online reviews, ask for references, and check for any certifications or awards that the company may have. While a reputable roofing company may charge higher prices, it can provide peace of mind knowing that your new roof is in capable hands.

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Quality of Service

The quality of service provided by the roofing company is crucial for a successful roof installation. Look for a roofing company that offers detailed consultations, thorough inspections, and transparent communication. A reliable company will take the time to understand your specific needs and provide recommendations based on your budget, location, and desired outcome. Quality service ensures that the installation process is smooth, and any potential issues are addressed promptly and professionally.

Accessibility and Safety

Roof Height

The height of your roof can impact the overall cost due to additional safety precautions and equipment required. Higher roofs may require the use of scaffolding, safety harnesses, or other specialized equipment to ensure the safety of the workers. Working at heights can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive, leading to higher labor costs. It is important to consider the accessibility and height of your roof when getting quotes and estimating the overall cost.


The steepness or slope of your roof can also affect the labor costs and overall difficulty of the installation process. Steeper roofs require additional safety measures, as workers need to navigate the incline while carrying materials and tools. Specialized equipment and techniques may be required to safely work on steep roofs, which can increase the labor costs. The degree of steepness should be taken into account when assessing the overall cost of a new roof.

Challenging Conditions

Certain challenging conditions, such as extreme weather, limited access to the property, or the presence of obstacles, may increase the complexity and cost of a new roof. For example, if your property is located in a remote area with difficult terrain, transportation costs for materials and equipment may be higher. Additionally, if there are trees or power lines obstructing the roof, extra precautions and coordination may be necessary, resulting in increased labor costs. It is important to discuss any challenging conditions with your roofing contractor to determine if any additional expenses may be incurred.

Permits and Inspections

Permit Fees

In many jurisdictions, obtaining a permit is required before installing a new roof. Permit fees can vary depending on the location and the scope of the roofing project. The fees are typically based on the value of the roof installation and are meant to ensure compliance with local building codes and safety regulations. It is important to factor in the cost of permit fees when budgeting for a new roof and to ensure that all necessary permits are obtained before starting the project.

Inspection Costs

In addition to permit fees, some areas may require inspections at various stages of the roof installation. These inspections are usually conducted by local building officials to ensure that the work is done correctly and meets the required standards. Inspection costs, if applicable, should be considered as part of the overall budget for a new roof. It is important to check with the local building department to determine if inspections are required and what the associated costs may be.

In conclusion, the cost of a new roof can vary depending on several factors. The choice of roofing materials, the size and complexity of the roof, labor costs, roofing accessories, additional structural work, warranties, location, roofing company, accessibility and safety considerations, and permits and inspections all contribute to the overall expense. It is vital to do thorough research, obtain multiple quotes, and work with reputable roofing professionals to ensure a successful and cost-effective roof installation. Investing in a high-quality roof will not only protect your home but also provide peace of mind for years to come.